Crisis intervention refers to the methods used to offer short term immediate help to individuals who have experienced an event that produces mental, physical, emotional and behavioural distress.
Crises happens to everyone, and intervention can take many forms, from family helping and support strategies to professional counselling strategies aimed at helping the individual cope with crisis in ways that reduce the negative psychological, physiological and behavioural effects of trauma on that person and his or her environment.
The purpose of crisis counselling is to deal with the person’s current status by dealing with a crisis. Chronic exposure to stress or trauma can lead to mental illness. Therefore, it is important that counsellors have the skills and knowledge to help clients cope with their current stressors and trauma. Crisis counselling is not intended to provide psychotherapy or similar, but offers a short-term intervention to helps clients receive assistance, resources, stabilisation and support.
Crisis intervention differs from other counselling interventions in that it focuses on short-term strategies to prevent damage during and immediately after the experience of trauma. Crisis counselling is often followed by counselling for long term improvement of the client’s mental health and personal wellbeing.
Crisis intervention has several purposes. It aims to reduce the intensity of the person’s physical, mental, emotional and behavioural reactions to a crisis. It also helps the individual return to the level of functioning they were at before the incident.
There is also an educational component to crisis intervention. The individual will be advised of the normal reactions to an abnormal situation. The individual will be told that their responses are temporary and that there is not a specific time that the person can expect to recover from the crisis.